Pontificale Romano-Germanicum

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The Pontificale Romano-Germanicum ("Roman-Germanic pontifical"), also known as the PRG, is a set of Latin documents of Roman Catholic liturgical practice compiled in St. Alban's Abbey, Mainz, under the reign of William, Archbishop of Mainz, in the mid-10th century, and an influential work in the establishment of the Catholic Church in Europe.

It was in wide circulation during the Middle Ages and was used as the basis for the modern Roman Pontifical. It contains 258 Ordines describing ecclesiastical procedures including rites of ordination, blessing, baptism, celebrations of Mass, confession, etc. It has significant novel content: for instance, rites and prayers for the beginning of Lent, subsequently widely adopted, that had nothing to do with existing Roman liturgy.

The term "Pontificale Romano-Germanicum" for this body of documents was coined by its discoverer, Michel Andrieu. The definitive edition was compiled by the theologian Cyrille Vogel and historian Reinhard Elze.

A redaction of the text, the Cracow Pontifical (Pontificale Cracoviense saeculi XI), believed to be written at Tyniec in the late 11th century, resides as MS 2057 in the Jagiellonian Library in Kraków.[1][2]


  1. ^ The Cracow Pontifical (Pontificale Cracoviense saeculi XI) Cracow, Jagellonian Library, MS.2057, Zdzisław Obertynski, Henry Bradshaw Society, London, 1977, ISBN 0-907077-17-X
  2. ^ Cracow Pontifical, Boydell & Brewer facsimile description

Further reading[edit]

  • Les ordines romani du haut moyen age, Michel Andrieu, Louvain : Spicilegium Sacrum Lovaniense Administration, 1961-1974.
  • Le Pontifical romano-germanique du dixième siècle, ed. C. Vogel and R. Elze (Studi e Testi vols. 226-7 (text), 266 (introduction and indices), 3 vols., Rome, 1963-72).
  • Parkes, Henry (2015). The Making of Liturgy in the Ottonian Church: Books, Music and Ritual in Mainz, 950–1050. Cambridge Studies in Medieval Life and Thought: Fourth Series. Cambridge UP. ISBN 9781107083028.